The Straight Truth: Play Probes Issues Black Women Have with Their Hair

By LaShawn Hudson Contributing Writer | 8/23/2013, 6 a.m.
At the dawn of this millennium, the Canadian playwright Trey Anthony abandoned a life of relative comfort in Toronto to ...
(Photo by Johnnetta Fielder-Pitts).

Anthony portrays a character named Novelette, who is the owner and head hair stylist at the salon where most scenes take place. She’s the catalyst for flat-ironing problems away. She possesses a mystical power that allows her to discern what’s going on in women’s lives just by feeling their hair.

As she begins to unravel the coils of their triumphs and tragedies, she detangles the truth about their unspoken traumas. Many of them suffer from wounds such as rape, self-hate, depression, colorism, adultery, homosexuality, racism, child loss, grief and the day-to-day struggles of being a black woman.

"This play is a holistic approach to looking at the lives of black women." said Anthony. "It’s about our lives, our dreams and our disappointments. It challenges us to be vulnerable."

New York native Terry Henry plays Patsy, a woman who is grieving because she lost her teenage son to street violence. Henry says she hasn’t experienced the loss of a son in real life but, to get into character, she focused on universal senses of loss experienced by other black women.

"We all have lost pieces of our lives." said Henry. "We’ve given pieces of our souls in our experiences. I’ve lost a marriage. I’ve lost children through miscarriage. My character expands beyond the loss of a son. And this play is truly a form of art that ministers and heals."